SAC # 104

Will introduction of GMOs damage New Zealand's country image?



TIME | 10 March 2011, 4pm onwards

LOCATION | CSAFE Seminar Room, , Dunedin

SPEAKER | John Knight


Frequently heard within New Zealand are arguments that release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment will harm the ‘clean green’ image of the country, and therefore do irreparable harm to our export markets for food products and also to our tourism industry. Several lines of research have been conducted to determine the validity of these arguments. We conclude that introduction of specific GM applications, for example in forestry, pest control, bioremediation, and feed for farm animals, is highly unlikely to prove damaging to New Zealand’s country image in export markets, or its image as a destination for tourists. Research findings related to country image will be presented. In addition, a brief account will be given of the First International Symposium on Molecular Strategies for Crop Improvement, Beijing, May 2010.

About the Speaker

John Knight is an Associate Professor in the Marketing Department, University of Otago.

John studies factors that affect New Zealand exports and exporters, and the importance of country image in the supply chain. This research has taken him to several European countries, to China and to India to determine what factors determine where food distribution channel members source imported food products. Other research interests include factors influencing adoption or rejection of new technologies, and consumer perception of risk in relation to technological change, particularly genetic modification. He is also undertaking research into the area of crisis management in international markets. Another research area is the use of technical barriers to trade; he has researched the long-standing trade dispute regarding the Australian ban on apple imports from New Zealand.

He has a long-standing personal involvement in farming and forestry. He has been guest speaker at numerous industry conferences, including a Federated Farmers National Conference, and several provincial farming sector conferences. He was an invited speaker at the First International Symposium on Molecular Strategies for Crop Improvement, Beijing, May 2010.


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